These are medical drugs often used by patients with ALS or MND.

Medical and Medicine Terms

Peripheral nervous system

The peripheral nervous system consists of the nerves and ganglia outside of the brain and spinal cord. The main function of the peripheral nervous system (PNS) is to connect the central nervous system to the limbs and organs.

Charcot disease

Charcot disease is another name for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Other common names include Motor Neuron Disease (MND), and Lou Gehrig's disease. The most common name for Charcot disease in North America for Charcot disease is ALS. The most common name for Charcot disease in the United Kingdon is MND.

diaphragmatic pacemaker

a phrenic nerve stimulator that provides pacing ventilatory support for patients with chronic respiratory insufficiency, or whose diaphragm, lungs, and phrenic nerves have decreased function. Patients in need of a diaphragmatic pacemaker have high spinal cord injuries, central sleep apnea or other central neurological disorders.

adenosine triphosphate

An adenosine-derived nucleotide that supplies large amounts of energy to cells for various biochemical processes, including muscle contraction and sugar metabolism.


Any of a class of organic compounds having a carbonyl group linked to a carbon atom in each of two hydrocarbon radicals.

subarachnoid hemorrhage

A brain attack that occurs when a blood vessel on the surface of the brain ruptures and bleeds into the space between the brain and the skull (but not into the brain itself).

substantia nigra

A small cluster of black-pigmented nerve cells in the brain that produce dopamine. Messages from the substantia nigra are transmitted to the striatum.

superoxide dismutase

An enzyme that destroys superoxide. One form of the enzyme contains manganese and another contains zinc. Superoxide is a highly reactive form of oxygen. For ALS, 20% of the total population of patients have mutations in the gene for copper/zinc superoxide dismutase type SOD1. SOD1 normally breaks down free radicals, but mutant SOD1 is unable to perform this function.


A tiny gap between the ends of nerve fibers across which nerve impulses pass from one neuron to another; at the synapse, an impulse causes the release of a neurotransmitter, which diffuses across the gap and triggers an electrical impulse in the next neuron.